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Psychology - Applied Psychology (Coaching Psychology)

Coaching Psychologists are specialists in behaviour change who utilise systematic methodologies drawn from the psychological evidence base to bring about positive change. People who want professional support, in order to maximise their performance and potential, work with coaching professions.
This course brings together the fields of Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology. Setting goals is an important life skill and one of the key components of success in any chosen area. Most individuals are able to select goals appropriate to their needs with relative ease. What is much more difficult is adhering to the steps necessary for goal achievement, often due our fluctuating levels of will power, and difficulties in applying constant will-power. Evidence based coaching psychology is the science of forming appropriate goals in line with our values, increasing motivation towards goal attainment, and then bringing to bear methodologies to achieve these goals.
Positive Psychology is the science of well-being, strengths and the achievement of our potential, and all that is good in us. As a person’s level of well-being increases, their goal attainment also increases. Consequently, the synergies between Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology make for a very powerful approach in helping people realise their potential, and approach becoming their best possible selves.

The approach of this masters can be utilised across a wide range of areas:

• Those working in human services who have the desire to incorporate a coaching approach to behaviour change in their professional work. This could include teachers, social workers, social care workers, youth and community workers, probation officers, nurses, medical specialists, nutritionists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists etc.
• Graduates who have the ambition to work as freelance coaches, or internal coaches in business organisations
• Human resource professionals
• Mangers and leaders who wish to develop the ability to maximise the potential of their teams
• Those who want to maximise performance by adding a psychological approach to skill attainment. This could include sports and exercise professionals, those who work with singers, actors, and other talented individuals.
• Graduates of psychology who wish to acquire a set of professional skills as part of their route towards professional training in another area of psychology, or to undertake doctoral studies.

Entry requirements

1. Academic Record

a) An undergraduate honours degree (Level 8), in which at least a second class honours (or equivalent) was awarded.

2. Personal Statement:

Each candidate will supply a personal statement conveying:

i) An interest in the appropriate application of psychological theory and methods to coaching practice.

ii) Reasons for applying to the course, including a written statement about career objectives.

iii) All applicants must arrange for one Referee's Report form to be posted directly to the School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork. The reference must be a professional reference from someone who has experience of the applicant in a professional capacity, whether in paid or voluntary work.

Eligible candidates will be interviewed.
If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please see course webpage (link below) to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.


Full-time 1 year
Part-time option over 2 years (open to EU students only).
CKD02 Full-time; CKD08 Part-time

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years

This is a course requires a commitment of 40-50 hours of total student effort throughout all the weeks of the semester.

Careers or further progression

Skills and Careers Information
Masters training is an integral part of any human services profession. We envisage our graduates will have three career routes opened to them by completing this course.

1.Directly into the private sector, either as a consultant practitioner or through the development of a private practice.
2.Further training in a psychology profession such as Clinical, Educational or Health.
3.A Research/Academic career in Psychology or related area perhaps by moving into a PhD programme.

Further enquiries

Prospective Applicants are advised to discuss the practicalities of the programme with Dr. David O'Sullivan, School of Applied Psychology ( Tel. + 353 21 490 4601).

Prospective applicants can book an appointed time to discuss the practicalities can be made at

Please note that if your application is successful, deferrals are not permitted on this programme.

School of Applied Psychology Administration:
Telephone: 021 490 4552
Email Address:

Address: School of Applied Psychology,
Enterprise Centre, North Mall.

Subjects taught

In Part I students take 60 credits consisting of core and elective modules. In Part II students complete a Research Dissertation (30 Credits). Although students must complete Part I before progressing to Part II, work on the research dissertation commences at the start of your course under the supervision of a member of staff.

Part I: Core modules include: Positive Psychology and Coaching, Wellness Coaching, Ethics and Supervision, Positive Organisational Psychology, Private Practice, Coaching Skills, Evidence Based Coaching, Positive Psychology in Group Settings, Research Methods and Data Analysis for Coaching Psychology.

Students who successfully complete 60 credits in Part I, whom do not wish to progress to Part II may exit with a PG Diploma in Applied Psychology (Coaching Psychology)

Part II: Research Dissertation (30 Credits).

Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Psychology (Coaching Psychology) (NFQ Level 9, Major Award)
Students who do not proceed to the full award may graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma subject to their passing 60 Credits at the end of Year 1 (full-time) or Year 2 for the part-time option


Unique Aspects of the Course
This is the first course of its kind to be offered at MA level in the Republic of Ireland. The programme equips students with the advanced training in coaching skills that will prepare them for a career as a professional coach. This includes the principles of Evidence Based Coaching: specifically Positive Psychology and Coaching, Skills, Business, Ethics and Supervision in Coaching, Coaching Skills in Group/Team and Organisational Settings. Training is also provided in research skills, including reviewing literature, developing hypotheses, writing research proposals, designing and carrying out empirical studies, conducting advanced statistical analyses, and presenting results. Skills in research methodology are a prerequisite for all psychology professions, and they constitute a key set of skills that set psychologists apart in the wider workplace.

Assessment method

Modules are assessed though a variety of methods including continuous assessment, coaching practice, essays, portfolios, and some end of year examinations (for some elective modules). Students are also required to complete a Research Dissertation which comprises a report to professional standards of 15,000 words (not including technical appendices, if any). A fully documented presentation to an audience of peers and experts lasting approximately 30 minutes will also take place. For a full description of the assessment for each module please refer to the Book of Modules.

Application date

Applications for 2017-18 intake are now open.

While UCC operates a rounds system for Postgraduate Taught courses (detailed below) we would advise you to apply as soon as possible.

Deadline for receipt of Applications: Offers will be made:

For all completed applications received by January 16th 2017 Offers will be made by January 30th 2017

For all completed applications received by March 1st 2017 Offers will be made by March 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by May 1st 2017 Offers will be made by May 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by July 3rd 2017 Offers will be made by July 17th 2017

Late applications may be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any courses that have remaining capacity for places.

Late applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis up to 8th September 2017.

Non-EU Applicants:

Please visit the following page for further information for Non EU applicants

Course fee

Costs: 2017/2018 Irish/EU Full-time: €7,950.00 Part-time Year 1: €3,975.00 Please note that the cost of coaching/ supervision is an additional cost that must be borne by the students.

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 11 September 2017

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